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China Saw Weak Movie Box Office for the Qingming National Festival Period

Well-known Chinese news site Sina (NASDAQ: SINA) recently reported that, according to statistics from the Office of National Film Special Fund Management Committee, during the 2022 Qingming National Festival Period (April 3 – April 5), the total box office revenue in China was RMB 122 million yuan (around US$19.15 million). Last year, the box office total for the same period reached RMB 820 million yuan (around US$128.7 million). Except for the full shutdown of theaters in the same period in 2020, this result is the lowest box office number for the same period in the past decade. Statistics also showed that the total number of screenings in the Qingming Festival Period was 627,900 this year. The figure was nearly halved year-over-year. The number of movie-goers reached 3,420,200, only one-sixth of what it was for the same period last year. A number of factors are involved. Behind the bleak box office is the sluggish theater operating rate and the withdrawal of films. Nearly half of the theaters across the country were closed because they were affected by the spread of Covid-19. The operating rate of theaters in the major movie markets in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Shandong and other regional markets was less than five percent. This was especially so for the theater operating rate in Shanghai which was zero. The State Film Administration issued a notice that all theaters in medium and high-risk areas will not be allowed to open for the time being. Affected by this order, a large number of movies were withdrawn. Under the brutal market environment, theaters have been forced to turn to another business. There are regional projection operators who switched to the food catering market. Local governments are providing subsidies to the industry to help sustain it.

Source: Sina, April 6, 2022

Government: Beijing Defends its “Zero-COVID” Strategy

The COVID-19 virus is continuing to spread in China. Since April, 12 local authorities (in provinces, cities, and counties) have imposed lockdowns either of their whole region or within a district. This is in addition to Shanghai, which was locked down in March. Around 373 million people in China are now living under COVID lockdown measures. {1}

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controlled media recently published several commentary articles to defend the “Zero-COVID” strategy and downplay the humanitarian crisis and the economic impact of both COVID and the lockdowns. The following are comments from the CCP’s media:

  • Xinhua on April 12: A Short-Term “Pain” Will not Shake China’s Economic Fundamentals {2}
  • Xinhua on April 15: A Temporary “Restriction” Is for a Better “Loosening Up” – Understand the Necessity of the “Zero-COVID” Policy by reading the Explanations of Authoritative Experts’  {3}
  • China News Service on April 16: Act Quickly to Control the Quickly-Spreading Virus and Do Not “Lie Flat (Stop Working)”; Life Will Return to Normal In the End {4}

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. China Press, April 16, 2022 ◤全球大流行◢坚持动态清零-中国4月已有12地封控/
2. Xinhua, April 12, 2022
3. Xinhua, April 15, 2022
4. China News Services, April 16, 2022

Government: Office Document Shows Jilin Plans to Impose Lockdown with No Advanced Notice

The Epoch Times reported that an internal government document revealed that the authorities in Jilin Province have decided not to provide notice in advance to all of the residents before locking down a city or a region.

The document referred to the provincial COVID control meeting on April 15, where both the Provincial Party Secretary and Governor attended and spoke. The meeting requested, “After the current lockdown is over, residents should store at least a month-long supply of meat, eggs, and milk and a two weeks-long supply of vegetables. In the future, there won’t be any advanced notice before a lockdown takes place. [The Authorities] will impose a lockdown immediately to avoid close contact [and COVID infections] due to people’s rushing out to buy supplies.”

However, people are questioning if it is realistic for them to store such a big volume of supplies of perishable goods since  they have limited living space and only a small amount of room in their refrigerators.

Related postings on Chinascope:

Source: Epoch Times, April 16, 2022

Pandemic: Shanghai Adopted Implication Measure to Force People to Go to Modular Hospitals

Shanghai reported 26,330 COVID cases (1,189 confirmed infection cases and 25,141 asymptomatic cases) on April 13. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is known for hiding COVID information, so the actual infection count is unknown.

One of the methods the Shanghai authorities use to hide the COVID count is the way they handle those people who test positive. The authorities still report them as negative on official records but verbally notify them that they are positive. Then when authorities come to take them to the modular hospitals to isolate them, the infected people refuse to go since their official records show they are negative.

The Shanghai police announced that they will “strictly handle” any actions that COVID patients take in refusing to be placed in isolation. The police  listed ten prohibited actions, including people leaving their apartment while being quarantined and intentionally destroying the seal on their door in order to get out.

A residential committee in Hongkou District issued a notice on April 12 saying, “For those confirmed patients (from official testing), even if their self-test showed negative (which might mean they have healed), they must go to modular hospitals for treatment and obtain a paper stating they are released from quarantine. If residents refuse to go, they will be permanently marked as red in their Health Code application (thus they will have a hard time going out, entering facilities, or traveling); and the whole building in which they live will be put on lockdown. In other words, residents in the entire building will be implicated.

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. Voice of America, April 13, 2022
2. Radio Free Asia, April 13, 2022

Government: Beijing Criticized Shanghai Officials for Passively Resisting COVID Control

Shanghai’s COVID continues spreading causing many humanitarian problems to occur. Beijing blames Shanghai officials for their inaction in the control of COVID .

People’s Daily, the CCP’s central media, published a commentary on April 10 to stress that the country persevere in the “Zero-COVID” strategy. It criticized certain officials’ for not putting in their best effort. “The antonym of ‘persevere’ is to ‘give up.’ Surrendering or giving up in front of the pandemic means to give up the previous success of COVID prevention and control.” “Any thought of lying down or waiting or relying on [the central government] or any thought of taking it lightly is greatly irresponsible to the big picture of pandemic prevention and control.”

From April 7 to April 9, Shanghai removed eight local officials for their poor performances .

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. Epoch Times, April 10, 2022
2. People’s Daily, April 10, 2022

Pandemic: Unconfirmed Report: 100,000 People Sent to Help Shanghai

During the day on April 4, China reported 16,412 COVID cases (1,173 confirmed infection cases and 15,239 asymptomatic cases). Shanghai reported 13,354 cases (268 confirmed infection cases and 13,086 asymptomatic cases). Jilin province reported 2,472 cases (792 confirmed infection cases and 1,680 asymptomatic cases). The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is known for hiding COVID information, so the actual infection count remains unknown.

Shanghai previously announced a lock-down in Pudong (the east half of the city) from March 28 to April 1 and in Puxi (the west half of the city) from April 1 to April 5. The whole city remained in lock-down after the planned dates.

An Internet article titled “A Great Battle to Determine the Fate of China Is about to Start in Shanghai” mentioned the following:

  • Almost every street in Shanghai has COVID positive patients.
  • The top CCP leadership is mobilizing the whole nation’s resources to fight the prevention of COVID  and to control the battle. The military and 16 provinces are sending 100,000 people to Shanghai to help. Among them, the military is sending about 10,000 people.
  • The whole state machine is running at full speed to send people and supplies to Shanghai. By April 3, over 150 civilian planes, over 10 military planes, and several dozen high-speed trains had brought many people to Shanghai.
  • Shanghai will move tens of thousands of infected patients out to neighboring provinces (Jiangsu and Zhejiang Province) to quarantine them and to reduce Shanghai’s case count. Shanghai set a target of having a zero COVID count by April 11 and will reopen on April 18.

Another article on the Internet showed an urgent official document that the CCP ordered six cities in Zhejiang Province (Hangzhou, Ningbo, Huzhou, Shaoxing, Jinhua, Taizhou) to prepare to receive 30,000 people from Shanghai.

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. Epoch Times, April 5, 2022
2. Epoch Times, April 6, 2022